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What problems did the New York colony face and how were they solved?

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One major problem for the New York colony was the behavior of its subjects. The citizens were violent and frequently drunk. To combat this problem, leaders tried to fine and punish violent behavior. They also tried to raise taxes on alcohol. Another problem was hogs. Pigs tended to run wild in the streets. To solve this problem, the colony prohibited people from letting their animals run free.

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One critical problem for the early New York colony was the behavior of its people. They were violent and consumed notable quantities of alcohol. In the 1640s, one out of four buildings in New York (or, as it was called back then, New Amsterdam) had alcohol for sale.

The prevalence of alcohol worried its leaders, including the general-director (the main person in charge of the budding colony) Peter Stuyvesant. Stuyvesant believed that the constant drinking and rowdiness harmed business, work, and the overall culture of the colony. It set a bad example for children.

To combat the rambunctious behavior, Stuyvesant tried to prohibit excessive drinking and fighting on Sundays. Now, fighting with a sword or knife on a Sunday could lead to six months of hard labor with only bread and water to sustain you.

Unfortunately for Stuyvesant, few paid attention to his edict. Stuyvesant also tried to limit alcohol by raising taxes. This, too, didn’t work out so well. Stuyvesant had a hard time figuring out how to implement and collect taxes on alcohol sales.

Another problem facing New Amsterdam/New York was hogs. Supposedly, unaccompanied pigs were a big problem in the colony. To try and solve the wild pig problem, the colony came up with an ordinance that made it against the law to let any animal run free.

The pig problem may have been linked to another problem: bathrooms, or "privies." In New York, it was not uncommon to empty an outdoor toilet facility right into the street. The waste was reportedly a big attraction for the pigs. By 1658, it was no longer permitted to empty a privy into a street.

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Another issue the New York Colony faced were conflicts with the French. During the 17th and 18th Centuries, the Champlain Valley waterways and the Hudson River were important strategic transportation routes to the interior of the continent. Whoever controlled these waterways had better access to the many resources of the region.

As early as the 1660s, the French started making incursions south into the Champlain Valley. The British in New York responded by allying themselves with the local Iroquois tribes who harassed and attacked French settlements that threatened British control of the region.

Periodic conflicts between the French and the British and their Native American allies continued over the course of the next century. The British built a series of forts in the Hudson Valley and the Lake Champlain area, notably Fort Edward, West Point, Fort William-Henry, and Crown Point. Along with their native allies, this allowed them to control the region and keep the French threat at bay. During the French and Indian War (1754–1763) there were numerous battles in this region. The ultimate British victory at the end of the war neutralized the French threat to the area once and for all.

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One of the problems that colonial New York encountered was the need to define territorial boundaries with other colonies. The precise administrative and political boundaries between each colony were by no means always clear-cut, and disputes often broke out, sometimes spilling over into violence. To complicate matters further, much of this disputed territory belonged to Native-American tribes, who resented the intrusion of English and Dutch settlers on their land.

The Governor of New York, Sir Edmund Andros, attempted to settle the problem by offering protection to the Susquehannock tribe, who were under constant threat from English settlers in Maryland and Virginia. Andros also offered his services as a mediator to the authorities in Maryland, and in this capacity tried to persuade them that it wasn't in their interests to drive out the Susquehannock as it would leave them vulnerable to attack by the Iroquois. For the most part, Andros managed to hold back the expansion of Maryland, thus maintaining relative peace and stability during his tenure as Governor of New York.

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Many of the issues and tensions the New York colony faced stemmed from their historical background—before becoming an English colony, New York was settled by the Dutch. The Dutch East India Company established a diverse settlement in New York, called New Netherland, that included Dutch, French, Scandinavian, German, and Jewish settlers. This diversity contributed to ethnic tensions that continued after the English took control of the colony in 1664.

The English forcibly took control of New Amsterdam in 1664; however, the population remained a diverse collection of English, Dutch, and other European settlers, in addition to the Native Americans who already inhabited the area. King Charles II of England then gave his brother, the Duke of York, the claim to the land, changing the name of the colony to New York.

The expansion of the fur trade and of farming settlements caused conflicts with nearby Manhattan Native Americans, who resented the encroachment on their land and cultures. This conflict and warfare was compounded by political instability and unrest—the Duke of York refused to allow a representative assembly, which angered many colonists. In addition, the Duke allowed Dutch settlers to retain their land, which they had been granted under the Dutch "patroon" system. This system concentrated land in the hands of a few wealthy elites, creating a sort of feudal system in which many colonists were tenants rather than landowners. Despite these issues, New York continued to serve as one of the most diverse, tolerant, and economically prosperous colonies. Its location and population allowed a diverse economy to flourish, including shipping, farming, the fur trade, and commerce. In 1683 a representative assembly was finally established, allowing for a greater degree of self rule for the colonists. During the Revolution the priveleges of the landed elite of the patroon system ended.

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